Current information for outdoor enthusiasts

Well folks, today I’m going to be talking about a product that’s new to me, and some information that the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) has released; some of them give us important hunting information and others ask for comments on black bass. As much as the TPWD does for us, we should help them as much as possible. It is we who will benefit from it in the end.

To start, I’d like to share with you a new-to-me product that has worked fantastically on everything I’ve tried. It’s called IOSSO Metal Polish and I liked the product I tried because it’s a bio-based formula. So far it has worked on every surface and metal I’ve tried it on, including chrome, stainless steel, brass, copper, and aluminum. I have also used it on fiberglass, plexiglass boat windshield and some painted surfaces.

I’ve used it on some stainless steel parts of my guns that were a little corroded and look stained and it just cleaned them up. I don’t know how it would work on some of the plastic guns and mystery metals they use on some of the guns, but I do know of a few stainless steel parts on one of my shotguns, the polish has cleaned off stain all of them and just left them looking like new.

So since it’s the time of year to get out there and do some cleaning on your boat or whatever you can think of outside, and it’s mostly biodegradable and that’s best I can say non-abrasive . If you want to get your hands on some of these polishes and see other products they make, head over to www.iosso.com and it will take you to their website.

Next, I would like to discuss the hunting prospects for this upcoming quail season.

With the exception of extreme southern Texas, the overall prospects for a productive quail hunt are slim in the rest of the state. Dry weather and habitat destruction have again caused a drop in hatching for a second year, so the 2022 quail season does not look too good.

Extreme habitat conditions could also present challenges for waterfowl hunters this season.

Dry conditions across the state pose some challenges for waterfowl hunters for the start of the duck and geese season. TPWD biologists report that habitat conditions are not ideal for ducks and duck hunters in many areas of Texas this year. However, changes in weather patterns in addition to timely cold fronts and significant rain events could help improve hunter success.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed its waterfowl breeding population and habitat survey in May for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Unfortunately, the survey found that most duck species have seen substantial declines since the last survey, conducted in 2019. Drought conditions in much of the parkland, the most important breeding area for ducks coming to Texas, played a significant role in the decline. Blue-winged teals and redheads are the only duck species whose population has increased since 2019.

Last year, Texas experienced a significant drop in the total duck harvest from the previous hunting season. The estimated total duck harvest is down 41% in 2021 compared to 2020. One thing that remains unanswered in my mind is whether the hunter population was also down due to COVID, or the impact that the hellish inflation we know could have had, if any.

Currently, most of the state is well below seasonal precipitation averages, except for southern Texas and parts of the Texas Panhandle. These statewide conditions have not been seen since the record-breaking drought of 2010.

Generally, when there is less water spread across the landscape, it concentrates birds in areas where hunters tend to wait, increasing hunting success. However, ducks are very intolerant of excessive disturbance and move quickly after hunting begins if habitat conditions do not improve significantly before or during the hunting season.

In East Texas, reservoir levels are very low due to the hot, dry summer. This can be a good thing when it starts to rain again, as small seed-bearing vegetation has grown along the exposed banks. When water levels rise and vegetation is flooded, this will provide a substantial increase in food available to overwintering ducks.

The Texas coast is one of those places that has taken a real hit for hunters. The region still needs a lot of rain because the marshes are very salty, many wetlands are dry, and the overall amount of fresh water is extremely limited. Hunting clubs and leases lucky enough to have access to water to flood rice paddies or wetlands will have an advantage this fall if current conditions persist.

Last but not least, anglers across the country are urged to report signs of spotted bass syndrome (BBS) in black bass to support research conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and West Virginia University (WVU). ).

To entice anglers to participate, Bass Pro Shops is partnering with WVU and the USGS by offering gift cards for weekly draws, including $3,000 in gift cards specifically for Texas anglers.

Anglers are encouraged to report signs of BBS to the MyCatch app. To be eligible for the Texas-specific prizes provided by Bass Pro Shops, anglers who suspect their fish has symptoms of BBS must submit photos, the name of the body of water where it was caught, and the date of capture to Cynthia Fox-Holt. (Cynthia.fox@tpwd.gov).